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Headline: "Dole Blames Press" for his poll meltdown. First off the bandwagon, morning drive's Don Imus.

Let's hear it for Bates USA, leading agency in the recent NYC holiday food drive. Bates folks collected 3,500 pounds of food to be distributed by the relief organization City Harvest, thanks to the American Express Charge Against Hunger Campaign. Food & Wine collected in all more than three tons of food from, among others, N.W. Ayer, BBDO, Crain, Deutsch, JWT, Lois USA, O&M, Saatchi, TBWA, Warwick Baker, Wells Rich, Time Inc. and Cap Cities/ABC.

InStyle mag is about to earn its first ever "pink sheet" from the ABC. It'll show the 18-month-old celeb lifestyle book selling an average of 630,000 copies, some 14% over the 550,000 rate base. Publisher Ann Jackson reports 80% of the circulation is from newsstands.

The New York Times reports latest London fashion design sensation is Alexander McQueen, who shows his collection in a church and features clothes "invoking rape .*.*. set in the Scottish Highlands" and slashed tops "dripping blood" that suggest "women with mastectomies." Where is Coco Chanel now that we need her?

Oops. It was Parents magazine with a 19% rise in first-quarter ad pages, not Parenting, as I wrote last week.

Carl Portale tells me with the March issue of Elle just in from the bindery, it's "the largest March edition in our history," with 235 ad pages out of a 386-page book total.

A Constant Reader informs me top American businesswoman Linda Wachner was lunching with U.S. Ambassador to France Pamela Harriman because she's now counseling Pam on her somewhat tangled financial affairs. Smart Linda used to advise Barbara Walters but she's trading up to ambassador class. Incidentally, Linda reportedly threw a small fit over seating at a Costume Institute dinner at the Metropolitan Museum in New York when they placed her next to a mere journalist, Eric Breindel of the New York Post, after she'd contributed 100 grand. Poor Oscar de la Renta got the brunt of it.

Just why would Corby Kummer, the new restaurant reviewer at New York magazine, send a friend "coat-and-tieless" to the Grill Room of the Four Seasons, "home of the power lunch," just to see what would happen? Is it news that the joint requires a certain standard of dress? Mr. Kummer will alternate with the great Gael Greene on the restaurant beat.

The day they announced Jerry Della Femina's Jerry & Ketchum was launching a big new five-year ad campaign on behalf of Rio de Janeiro tourism, I bumped into Jerry and wife Judy Licht at a dinner party. Jerry says no truth at all to the rumor he might close or sell one of his two East Hampton restaurants.

Ed Adler of Time Warner tells me Chairman Jerry Levin spells "Jerry" that way, with a "J."

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